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Beijing Babe Comes Back to BU

Alum Rachel DeWoskin reads from her new novel tonight


Be the envy of several million Beijingers tonight when Rachel DeWoskin — poet, author, and Chinese soap-opera star — reads from her new novel, Repeat After Me, at Barnes & Noble at Boston University.

DeWoskin (GRS’00) studied poetry in BU’s Creative Writing Program, but before she began her literary career, she starred as Jiexi, an American temptress, on the Chinese television show Foreign Babes in Beijing. The show was seen by some 600 million viewers in China in the 1990s and inspired DeWoskin’s 2005 memoir of the same title.

She has turned to fiction with Repeat After Me, the story of a young ESL (English as a second language) teacher who falls in love with a Chinese dissident in her class. Set in 1990s New York and in Beijing a decade later, the book explores family conflicts, parenting, and mental illness through the lenses of two cultures. Publishers Weekly called it “a tender story of manic love and loss” with “memorably off-kilter leads.”

DeWoskin’s reading and signing begins at 7 p.m. tonight, June 9, at Barnes & Noble at BU, 660 Beacon St., Kenmore Square. The event is free and open to the public.

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